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The Lion's Roar

The Lion's Roar

The Lion's Roar

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Scenes from the Ryan Center

Lions Look to State Title
Scenes+from+the+Ryan+Center

Lincoln’s men’s basketball team, alongside counterparts of varsity programs from all over Rhode Island, was welcomed to the Ryan Center on Friday, March 15th. The Ryan Center is URI’s home arena and will host the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals this weekend. The point of the meeting? A press conference. Lincoln was among eight teams, four men’s and four women’s. 

Of 102 teams in the state, it was evident that the eight in attendance were at the pinnacle of the state, made clear by the demeanor of the athletes and coaches alike. Before the speech, unified teams from Shea and Tolman gathered to celebrate the unified spirit, as an exhibition game will be played between the two Sunday title contests. Tolman’s coach, who doubles as a father to Lincoln’s Austin Noel, delivered a hearty speech, claiming that serving as a unified basketball coach has “been a great experience.” Noel assumed the role several seasons ago. 

The final four women’s competitors took the stand first, delivering knowledge in one way or another. A Bay View representative noted, “You don’t just stumble into the Final Four.” This sentiment is true, as the combined record in Lincoln’s semifinal matchup shows a plethora of impressive wins… and zero combined losses. Directly before a switch to the men’s bracket, Moses Brown’s representative gave a touching tribute that would surely inspire the young women competing for a state championship: “[I grew up in the time of the WNBA just starting-] I didn’t know what good was, I just wanted [to be like Lisa Leslie].” The speechgiver later went on to thank her players and identify the fact that many young girls will be watching and become inspired by their actions this weekend. 

At long last, Lincoln made their way to the stand, parallel to semifinal opponent Classical. Lincoln, as recognized by the RIIL representatives, “defeated [a] perennial power,” taking down Bishop Hendricken for the first time in school history. Giving the speech would be Lincoln’s head coach, Jeremy Wilner. Wilner’s dominance at the helm has been recognized, and his skillful coaching has led the team to an undefeated record. To start, Wilner acknowledged his seniors and the principles the team needed to make it this far. To conclude, Wilner signed off, stating “we are excited to compete.” 

Against Lincoln this week will be the Classical Purple. Sources say that, since the tournament evolved into its current state, this is the first semifinal matchup between two undefeated teams. Classical is a very young team, with only one senior on the roster. Should Lincoln win, they will advance to take the winner of Barrington/ La Salle. 

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